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TRUE ROMANCE POEMS

inspired by movie events


Christina Drill


Can I  kill  myself  with  you         “Let  me  reuse  this  later,”  said  me  never,       not  today  on  this  bus,  heavy  rainforest       storm  out  ahead,  all  heavy,  purple,  swole.       Great  women  poisoned  their  men  but  no       great  man  has  killed  a  woman.  This  fight  is       about  women,  no  shit  or  anything.  Whether  we       should  snap  her  neck,  or  think  about       his  ugly  mouth.  He  says  no.  Like       an  old-­‐fashioned  marriage,  we  are     not  communicating,  we  are  stabbing  the  dead       with  sticks  in  our  eyes.  All  we  can  do  is       assure  the  other  one,  “You’re  always  right.”         It  starts  to  rain  then  clear.       This  problem  is  historical,  longer  than  us.       Hawks  walk  road  with  their  wet  wings.       In  the  sky,  the  sun  comes  out.      


Michael A. Gonzales


Drexal’s Dead

“appropriation

by

blaxploitation,”

that’s

what

the

free

press obit said about drexal spivey/my nigga if he got no bigga/and from the looks of things, he won’t/man, me and him been

down

since

we

were

shorties

on

the

block/back

when

tricky dick was in the white house and angela davis’ wanted posters was our favorite centerfold/back when we thought the revolution would come/any day now damn,

it

must’ve

been

white

boy

day

when

spivey

moved

around the way/other side of the tracks for real, above a pool hall called linwood’s, not far from highland park/that pale-faced boy had no choice but to fight or run/and baby, where we come from, one ever ran for long welcome to the detroit, where my homie drex earned his ghetto

pass

and

never

let

it

lapse/white

chocolate

m.f.

spivey might’ve been skinny, but he knew how to thump/beat the shit outta some bully who we all called heart attack welcome to the d., where motown was long gone and the only songs we heard were gun shots in the night or spivey’s mom moanin’

beneath

through

them

some

broken

stranger glass

while

streets

her

like

baby he’d

boy

just

bopped stepped

outta a sly stone song or maybe a iceberg slim story or, that superfly movie we saw together in ‘73 at the fox theater/same night that rival crew jumped us over on woodward avenue and smashed a beer bottle in spivey’s left eye, sliced his face like it was a piece of pie/drex was bleedin’ bad, but you should’ve seen the other guy


but, time don’t be standin’ still, it be flyin’/been a million

years

since

i

last

saw

that

scarfaced,

dead-eyed

bastard/now I’m staring into his casket/it’s all good, just part of the game/heard he had gone on to great fame, ghetto supastar till the end/never left the hood, but that white nigga had everythin’ from a diddled-eyed joe to damned if I know


Zackary Medlin


Three Kung-Fu Movies (A True Romance Triptych) 1. It begins when the house lights come down, the red of me— the ravenous teeth evolving from the jungle of my animal eyes to stalk the hallowed, to prey, to live within our vestigial religion. Now come here, my dear, my pretty pink leopard print bruise. I love the blue of you, the whorl of primal primary colors I taste painted across the white-trash canvas of my tongue each time I try to swallow the galaxy of your iris in each of your transient glances.

2. It begins with three words, each a piece of shattered glass held between my timid teeth, a glint of ache on my tongue. By that, I mean: a decision. You’re so cool. I’m tense as an unanswered phone call ringing inside the frame of a ghost story. I can’t be any more clear: I am a torpor. You, an ardor, the ghost of bricks strung up around my neck. That is to say— I feel you most within my chest when you aren’t against my chest. 3.


It begins with a fire of feathers crashing to the ground in waves of white, cold as a blanket of stars when their awful sparkle sputters like a candle guttering in the moment a wind erupts from itself. This is good. It’s easier to track fresh wounds to their blushing end in the snow. But it goes the other way, too. Meaning: We can find our way back, given the snowfall is of apposite depth and we have been traveling alone. We’ll put our feet inside the footsteps of our making all the way back home.


Adrian Sobol


You’re So Cool in the spine this

in

snake-skinned

river

in the sex

of a ground down jaw in the

lattice

of

the

Argyle grain

in the L

car where two men mistake me for Christian Slater maybe the hairline or that blonde on

my

arm

they take my picture it’s on the internet “you’re

so

cool”

with smog cleft to my collar

I say

I’m Catholic I mean I’m

when an

eye

short of the whole marimba in my

breast

I’d part the sea for a pint


of wet cement to mend a theater

we

haven’t seen Badlands &

no

one’s unhappy

but

I’ve got pie on shirt too

my

I’ve got

pie in my gun to bandage

to

pressure a horn into place along the ear

 


John De Herrera


It’s Over   We’re lost to each other now,   let go to a sea of holiday parties   neither will know the address or night of;   though we’ll attend, alone or with another,   heels clicking, scuffing up towards a front door,   the other mind and miles away;   neither will know, or what conversation   we’ll laugh along with, around twelve,   champagne in hand.  


Tasha Cotter

Â


Through tears                                    Forming  cracks     Underfoot     I  say   Build  a  city     where  we  can  live   In  blindness.     Break  me  into  crevices—     Sick  looking  stretches  of  darkness.   Maybe  you  can  go  to  that  cave,   See  what  you  had  built.     See  if  I  let  you  out.     I  am  those  channels  of  carved  stone                                          Waking  to  my  cold  skin.     I  am  elaborate  in  your  footsteps.    


Chase Gilbert


Stay True Legends, fresh-true hot lovers, all cool and so yes like Elvis, all tough like Priscilla in heels. Bloody lips and hearts fat and full, loyal young-lungs choking on life and smoke. Sweetheart, tits wet with sweat, hearing about the end, what will be, watch them heave surreal. Stick it in daddy. No more Mr. Nice Guy, who looks all ridiculous. Face red, for pain of memory corkscrew twisted, keeping the world spinning for the hot drunks in the valley with a passion for sickness. Hot-rod convertible, burn rubber, spit madness. Cancun sounds like a movie because no one sees the beach, that cut-glass water, after a romance in blood, after riches turn to powder and a whore’s most dear plans fall to truth in red lipstick and blonde giggles. A fire set, a beat-‘em-up shotgun and scream, baby. Diamonds and gold sunglasses, finger well-wet around a trigger on the most celebrated White Boy Day. A Mississippi memory, rock and roll, and everything else from a diddled-eyed Joe to a damned if I know. A man forever, because scum gets washed away and heroes walk away. Stay true. Light eyes/legs/feet all in love with freedom, pieces in specks in bits of dust that fly in the face of


Porsche pumping monsters with their own problems, always less than the ones sick on success. Can’t remember the end. All never remembering. Drive on, white lines on black-top, from Dee-troit, deep desert and Hollywood, baby, to where, from where, the bodies are buried, all rotting or ashes, back where Pop gave up nothing but giving a fuck and kissed his boy’s wife hard because goddamn son, he said, she’s a fucking peach. Fathers and sons can be like that. Everything out there is lost in a confusion of the who, circled by drugs, liquor, sex, and youth. Kids love different. Now, adults so-called, know what this should be, see where arms can’t hold themselves because they’re too busy holding another. Goddamn if that doesn’t mean fear, living on the run, killing, fighting, fucking, screaming; if it isn’t all that, it is less than true, it can float on as a lie. Elvis Aaron Presley once said that truth is like the sun; you can shut it out for a time but it ain’t goin’ away. Take it all, lovers hit the road and pull that trigger to survive, burn so damn hot, until there’s a flash and the world becomes a little darker, bullets stop singing and drop, while hearts empty into sticky pools that turn all black on the floor. Sunsets were meant to be ridden into, they exist as an exit, a wrought-gold end to be chased before the world goes black.


There’s a chance for the kids, always some hope to keep. That's the way it goes. But every once in awhile, it goes the other way too.

                                                                               


Ashleigh Lambert


It Goes  the  Other  Way,  Too     And  who  among  us  hasn’t  fallen   down  for  love   hasn’t  come     at  our  wife’s  pimp   with  vengeance  dazzling    

stolen uncut  coke  

to secure  our  future  

gotten our  father  killed  

gotten our  friend  killed  

gotten everyone  killed  for  our  folly  

turned innocents  to  informers  

put Brad  Pitt  at  risk  

tapped into  a  coolness  we  just  had  to  believe  in  

reshuffled power  with  just  our  charisma  

and guns    

and the  wisdom  of  our    

inner Elvis  

But  that  all  seems   so  far  away   when  our  private  paradise   has  been  colonized  by  condos    

when the  kids  are  fledged  

when it’s  Detroit  in  our  dreams    

when rain  blots  the  beach  

when the  money  is  a  memory  

when all  our  old  injuries    


tunnel up  through  our  skin  

and it’s  just  past  supper   on  some  desolate  Tuesday.                                                                                    


Adrian Ernesto Cepeda


I would  never  have  guessed  that  true  romance  and  Detroit  would  ever  go   together     You  from  Tallahassee     and  I  from  Detroit.   I  was  your  Clarence     and  you  my  Alabama   went  asleep  as  strangers,     daydreaming  movies   woke  up  reliving  our  own  romance.     I  wanted  to  be  your  Captain  Kirk,     your  cocked  gun  ready  to  go  off   where  you  ready  to  take  me,  cord   hanging  as  we  dialed  up  each  other   in  the  phone  booth.     You  weren’t  my  birthday  present   and  even  though  I  unwrapped  you   tightly,  I  loved  the  way  you  swore   you  were  no  high  priced  TJ  Hooker.     I  remember  lying  naked,  seeing   the  snow  from  the  TV  screen.   although  our  endings  were  happy,     as  we  explosively  parked  our  cars     in  the  same  parking  garage,     in  our  own  personal  drive  in—   no  one  came  home  in  a  body  bag.   No  one  was  shot.  You  left  me   with  the  remote,  video  tape  box   popcorn  crushes  and  aftertaste     of  kissing  French  Vanilla  ice  cream.   yearning  for  replay  of  our  midnight   movies.  Although  I  wouldn’t  fuck   Elvis,  I  would  love  to  close  my  eyes   and  hear  jump  in  the  tub     and  get  all  slippery  and  soapy     and  hop  in  that  mattress  and     watch  rabbit  channel  movies     'till  you  get  me  rising  up,  again     romancing  true  Kung-­‐fu  lovers     of  our  triple  feature  night  together,     sipping  coffee  diner  flirtations     bracelet  charms  jingling  so  much     our  spooning  sugar  glands  fired  up   our  tongues,  our  lips,  our  hips  devoured.   With  one  glance.  I’m  still  you  undressed   untangled  up  in  blue,  sunglasses  dreaming    


just to  feel  you  spread  the  wettest  smiles     from  your  Southern  most  regions,   nakedly  married  just  like  in  the  pictures;   forever  shaking  me  on  top  of  the  morning     my  Mrs.  Worley  always  reigniting     your  Alabama  charms.                                                                                  


Lucile Barker


Underground Love If hell moves on a hot August night of black flames, red wind, gravity increasing as we go deeper, it will be only a New York subway ride under the earth – windows shut tight, cool bridges remembered, the heat squeezing through tunnels faster than lovers’ blood, compressors thumping in time with summer kisses.                                            


Dustin Luke Nelson


romance after True Romance billboard light like conversation all this shootout our actions must kill the man trembling dancing alone in a hotel room a canceled credit card what kind of person you are he keeps a travel ashtray in the trunk aftershave in a ziplock bag there not a correct answer to a true moral conundrum only social stratification and the results we get suite w/ hot tub balcony dual toilets room service eat a PB&J drive across the country once die how you’re going to die                                


edited and art inspired by movie art by vanessa gabb

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True Romance Poems  

inspired by movie events

True Romance Poems  

inspired by movie events

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